Utah Mom Pleads Guilty to Smothering 6 Newborns

Megan Huntsman faces life in prison
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Feb 12, 2015 12:53 PM CST
In this Oct. 20, 2014, file photo, Megan Huntsman, accused of killing six of her newborn babies and storing their bodies in her garage, appears in court, in Provo, Utah.   (Rick Bowmer)

(Newser) – A Utah mother accused of killing six of her newborn babies and storing their bodies in her garage pleaded guilty to six counts of murder today. Megan Huntsman, 39, faces up to life in prison. She will be sentenced April 20. The deaths sent shockwaves through the quiet, mostly Mormon community where Huntsman stored the tiny bodies for more than a decade. Her estranged husband made the grisly discovery in April 2014 while he cleaned out a garage in the home they had shared in Pleasant Grove, Utah, a city of about 35,000 people. Authorities say a seventh baby found in her garage was stillborn. Huntsman told police she strangled or suffocated the babies immediately after they were born. She wrapped their bodies in a towel or a shirt, put them in plastic bags and then packed them inside boxes in the garage.

Police say Huntsman killed the babies over a 10-year period from 1996 to 2006, during a period when she said she was addicted to methamphetamine and didn't want to care for the babies. DNA results show all seven newborns were full term and that her now-estranged husband, Darren West, was the father. West lived with her during the decade the babies were killed, but he is not considered a suspect in their deaths. West discovered the bodies shortly after he was released from federal prison where he spent more than eight years after pleading guilty to meth charges. The day the babies were found, Huntsman told police there were eight or nine dead babies in her home, a search warrant affidavit shows. But police later concluded Huntsman was confused and was taking a ballpark guess.

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